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    The big Beemer’s oil consumption is worrying editor Trott / #BMW-M6-Gran-Coupe / #BMW-M6 / #BMW / BMW-M6 / #BMW-M6-Gran-Coupé-F06 / #BMW-M6-F06 / #BMW-6-Series / #BMW-6-Series-F06 / #BMW-F06 / #2013 /

    Oil is on my mind this month. The BMW M6 Gran Coupe has asked me, politely but firmly, to pour another litre into the engine – bringing the total to three litres in 3365 miles. There’s no sign of smoke or anything else that indicates excessive oil burning, and the car certainly isn’t leaving a puddle of oil underneath, so I’ve asked BMW to take a closer look. It may be me being paranoid, or it may be that the car is still burning a little extra due to its relative lack of miles, but neither of my previous long termers, the McLaren 12C and the Mercedes-Benz C63, drank this much oil in 10,559 and 18,004 miles respectively.

    The third month of ownership is always a crucial time in relation to the bond you develop with a car. The first couple of months are filled with the big issues: in terms of the M6 these were the eye-widening pace, the sheer size oft he thing and the divisive looks. But now attention turns to the smaller details, both positive and negative.

    On the positive side, the engine is loosening up nicely: it feels like a couple of kilos have been skimmed from the flywheel. You notice this most in M Dynamic mode, when the rears spin and the engine hits the red line in what seems like a micro second.

    And I have to admit the rears have been spinning rather a lot recently thanks in part to the greasy roads, cooler temperatures and my growing confidence in M Dynamic. As I write this, I’m looking at winter tyre options. Also on the positive side, the M6’s hi-fi is exceptional – and it’s one of the few standard-fit items on the car, rather than being the £3750 Bang & Olufsen optional upgrade. Continuing the interior trend, the 10.2in screen gets a thumbs-up for its clarity and effective infographics, but the low roof line at the rear makes inserting child seats and the kids that fill said seats a back-breaking exercise. I am, however, warming to the light beige BMW individual Merino leather – I t helps lift an otherwise drab interior even though it does seem to be absorbing the indigo dye from my jeans. Can anyone recommend a decent leather cleaner?

    The problem at the moment is that No matter how much the M6 Gran Coupe impresses me – an d overall it’s certainly doing that – I can’t get the price of the thing out of my head. £118,050 is a not insubstantial amount Of money. Not only that, but as I write there are three M6 GCs available on the #BMW-Approved-Used used programme – all highly specced and with very Few miles on the clock – for between £75,000 and £78,000…

    Driver’s log
    Date acquired Sept 2013
    Total mileage 5200
    Mileage this month 943
    Costs this month £16
    Mpg this month 18.5
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    More pace, no more space. Aston’s Rapide is now a Rapide S, boosted by 80bhp in a bid to attract more buyers. Words Mike Duff. Photography Stuart Collins.

    / #Aston-Martin-Rapide / #Aston-Martin-Rapide-S / #2013-Aston-Martin-Rapide-S / #2013 / #V12 / #Aston-Martin-V12 / #Aston-Martin

    Let’s be polite and call the Aston Martin Rapide an acquired taste. One that relatively few potential customers have evinced much of an appetite for. There’s lots to like about the four-door Aston, but it battles its rivals with notable faults, such as cramped rear seats. And if some of those potential customers expect to spend any time being chauffeured, that’s an issue.

    Aston has decided to stir up a bit more interest with the new and more powerful Rapide S. No more cabin space but there’s a welcome boost to the Rapide’s already plentiful performance. The highlight is the new ‘AM11’ version of Aston’s familiar 6.0-litre V12, producing 550bhp (an 80bhp gain on the old car) and 457lb ft of torque. The gains come via a host of internal revisions, including lightweight hollow camshafts, and a sizeable increase in the V12’s rev ceiling: peak power now arrives at 6750rpm, not 6000rpm. There’s still only one gearbox option, a six-speed automatic with manual override.

    Other than spec and design tweaks, the other significant change comes to the Rapide’s suspension, with a new, ultra-firm ‘Track’ mode for the adjustable dampers. Despite its title, this turned out to be pretty much perfect on our test route – a combination of Alpine passes and French D-roads, all super-smooth. The stiffened dampers retain enough compliance to take the edge off bumps, but they also control the body (and the Rapide’s considerable mass) remarkably well. There are very few other two-tonne, rear-driven cars that can be threaded down a challenging road with such impressive composure.

    The V12 engine remains the star of the show. Compared to turbocharged rivals it lacks a little in low-down torque – it needs 3000rpm properly to wake it up. But thereafter it’s a remarkable powerplant, pulling with perfect linearity and a wonderfully full-chested soundtrack that, you suspect, could probably reanimate the recently deceased. It feels noticeably quicker than the previous Rapide (Aston claims a 4.9sec 0-62mph time – 0.4sec faster than before); indeed, it’s quicker than the DB9 Coupé, which makes do with a 507bhp version of the engine.

    Although welcome, none of these revisions broaden the Rapide’s appeal among those put off by its lack of rear accommodation. But if you are looking for a proper four-door coupé, and can accept the cramped cabin, then the Rapide S is a handsome, exclusive and devastatingly rapid contender. And as Aston hasn’t increased its price over that of the old, less powerful car – £149,950 to you, sir – it qualifies as something of a bargain too.

    Top and above It couldn’t be anything other than an Aston, even with four doors; tweaks bring more power, but you still can’t read the FT in the back seats.
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    Electronic milestone BMW-i3 / BMW / #2018

    The #BMW-Group delivered more than 100,000 electrified vehicles to customers worldwide in 2017, as promised at the beginning of the year. This underlines the company’s leadership role when it comes to electro-mobility. A spectacular light installation marked this milestone, as the BMW Group headquarters – the famous ‘Four-cylinder’ building in Munich – was transformed into a battery. “This 99-metre-high signal is lighting the way into the era of electro-mobility,” said #Harald-Krüger , Chairman of the Board of Management of #BMW-AG . “Selling 100,000 electrified cars in one year is an important milestone, but this is just the beginning for us.

    “Since the introduction of the #BMW-i3 in #2013 , we’ve delivered over 200,000 electrified cars and, by 2025, we will offer 25 electrified models. Electro-mobility will continue to be my measure for our future success.”

    The 100,000th electrified #BMW of 2017, with the BMW ‘battery’ building in the background.
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    Forecourt find #BMW-Z4-sDrive35i-M-Sport-Roadster (E89) ( #2007- #2013 ) / #BMW-Z4-sDrive35i-M-Sport-Roadster-E89 / #BMW-Z4-sDrive35i-E89 / #BMW-Z4 / #BMW-Z4-E89 / #BMW-E89 / #BMW / #BMW-Z-Series / #BMW-Z-Series-E89

    THIS MONTH’S BEST BUY!

    Critics may claim that the Z4 35i can’t match the Porsche Boxster as a pure driving tool, but that’s to miss the point. If you want a fast, well-equipped, great-sounding and great-looking contemporary Roadster for less than £20,000 then the 306hp E89 Z4 sDrive35i M Sport Roadster is pretty hard to beat. And this Space grey 2010 example with a mere 15,000 miles on the clock could be yours for just £18,999. Advertised at Leeds performance specialist, SCC, the 0-62mph dash is over in just 5.2 seconds and this leather-upholstered example boasts a plush spec including sat nav, Bluetooth prep, the Comfort pack, adaptive Xenon headlamps and parking sensors.

    Web: www.sccleeds.co.uk / Tel: 01943 884551 or 07957 355365

    Many thanks to John Warren Cars (www.independentbmw.co.uk) for its assistance with BMW Buyer
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    LONGTERMERS

    Elizabeth bids a fond farewell to her 118d, Mark Williams continues to fall for his new Five, the track car nears completion and the editor can’t decide whether to keep the E24 or not…

    F20 118d Sport
    After three years of loyal service, the 118d and I are parting company but I’d say the fact that I’m replacing it with another 1 Series is a good sign. If you’re looking for a smallish car that’s practical, economical, comfortable and fun to drive, you really can’t go wrong with a 1 Series and the 118d would probably be the best all-round choice for most people, despite the fact that the slightly underpowered 116d is the best seller.

    One up, it feels surprisingly pokey and capable, while two up with the car loaded to the gunwales with photographic equipment it never felt out of its depth. Fuel economy has been miles off what it achieves in testing, falling about 14mpg short of its claimed 64mpg average, but then again my 16 mile daily commute is not really indicative of the sort of use (and therefore economy) that most owners will experience.

    I saw on average around 50mpg prior to swapping over to the Michelin CrossClimate all-season tyres around June last year, after which I saw a drop in economy to about 48mpg or so, most likely due to the softer compound and more compromised directional tread pattern.

    A run up to a show near Corby and back on my last weekend with the 118d saw it average 58mpg over the 222-mile trip, which you really can’t moan about as far as I’m concerned. Almost 60mpg achieved at a comfortable cruising speed is not to be sniffed at in my book.

    Swapping back to the Bridgestone Potenza run-flats and original wheels now that the car is due to go back, I immediately noticed a drop in ride quality, an increase in road noise and some surprising tramlining. I was never particularly impressed with the Bridgestone’s performance; they made the 118d feel a little skittish, even in the dry, like it wasn’t quite hooked up to the road, and when things turned damp the traction light would come on far more than you’d expect from a not particularly powerful hatchback, especially a rear-wheel drive one. I’ll be interested to see how my incoming 120d, with Sport suspension and 18- inch wheels, will feel on its OE fitment run-flats. I wonder whether or not they’ve improved in any way over the past three years. Goodyear has approached me about trialling its latest Vector 4Seasons tyre on the new car, so it’ll also be interesting to see how it performs as an all-rounder.

    For the most part, my 1 Series ownership experience has been drama-free. The biggest headache was the high levels of moisture ingress during the winter months, which then had a tendency to freeze on the inside of the windscreen after particularly cold nights. Despite a couple of garage visits, a solid explanation was never offered; the best theory that could be assembled was that my short journeys were causing moisture to build up inside the car, which didn’t have the chance dry out properly.
    I suppose it makes sense to a degree, but I was never fully convinced by it either; I’d expect a modern car, with a modern air conditioning system, to be able to cope with being used in such a way and I certainly wouldn’t expect to see ice on the windscreen. As at least two readers got in touch having experienced the same problem, it’s clearly not an isolated incident. We’ll see how the 120d gets on.

    Aside from that, nothing major has gone wrong; I had one iDrive screen failure, which was fixed by turning the car off and back on again, a couple of occasions where the car wouldn’t recognise the key, even though it was right next to me and a few instances where the steering lock had problems unlocking itself and asked for human assistance to jiggle the steering wheel.

    Just over 22,000 miles is barely a run-in for any modern car, and the interior has held up well. Some of the harder plastics have suffered some minor handbag/shoe-related scuffing and, with me being right-handed, the right hand portion of the steering wheel is looking a little worn compared to the left. Numerous squeaks and rattles have appeared over the course of the past three years, some quickly and easily located (the central armrest cubby lid was a little loose, for example. Solution: rest an elbow on it) but most were so mysterious in their origin that I wouldn’t even know where to begin trying to find the cause.

    By modern standards, even at the time that I was buying the car, I would say that the 118d is not very well equipped. Bluetooth, DAB and air conditioning are really nothing to write about and I’ve missed having parking sensors and cruise control. Yes, the 1 Series is not a particularly large car, but it’s hard to see out of the back and gauge distance when you’re parking and considering most cars nowadays have a full complement of sensors, to not even have some on the rear is quite surprising.

    As for cruise control, the 118d is the first car I’ve owned or driven in a long time that didn’t have cruise control; the speed limit function was good as it meant that I could adjust the angle of my foot on the accelerator when driving at a constant speed for longer periods, but even so after a couple of hours I’d end up with a sore ankle. Also, while the rubbish halogen headlights were substantially improved once I’d fitted a set of more powerful bulbs, they still fell far short of the mark compared with the xenons on my previous E46 and my current E39, and I’m particularly looking forward to living with LED headlights (standard on the M Sport 1 Series), having previously only ever sampled them for brief periods on press cars.

    From not long into my ownership period with the 118d I have continually said that it has been an excellent car in all respects, a superb all-rounder that does everything you could want from a car, but it has accomplished this without ever being exciting. I stand by that statement, but I will alter it slightly following an exchange of vehicles with Bob for a few nights, with me taking his Passat home. The Passat is a car for people who don’t like cars, people who don’t care for badges but believe that Germans make reliable cars and so they want one. It’s also for people who need five seats and a big boot. It’s very good at being a car with five seats and a big boot, and that’s about it. The steering is light, the pedals are light, the gear change is light; you just sort of wave your hands about vaguely and it drives along, vaguely.

    Getting back into the 1 Series, I immediately appreciated the meaty steering, the positive gear change, the weight to and feedback from all of the controls and it makes for a very different driving experience to that delivered by cars such as the Passat and its ilk. It’s still not an exciting car, but you can still enjoy driving it.

    It’s fun to punt along and even though it’s largely aimed at and bought by people who don’t care about that sort of thing, or even which wheels are driven, you can’t help but feel that BMW’s engineers had to build a car that, at its heart, has been made with people who like driving in mind.

    I don’t think I’ll miss the 118d, not only because I’m getting another 1 Series, but because as a company lease car it was never really mine and I didn’t have that attachment that I would for a car that I’d bought with my own money and that I was emotionally invested in. But I have enjoyed my time with it and it’s a car I would feel very comfortable recommending to anyone looking for a great hatchback.

    CAR: #BMW-F20 / #BMW-118d-Sport / #BMW-118d / #BMW-118d-F20 / #BMW-118d-Sport-F20 / #BMW
    YEAR: #2013
    MILEAGE THIS MONTH: 730
    TOTAL MILEAGE: 22,637
    MPG THIS MONTH: 47.2
    COST THIS MONTH: Nil
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    / #BMW-320d-GT (F34) (2013-on) / #BMW-320d-GT-F34 / #BMW-320d-F34 / #BMW-F34 / #2013 / #BMW /

    BMW’s GT models have never really caught UK buyers’ imagination in quite the same way the more traditional 3 and 5 Series models have, and that means they are often far better value. That’s certainly the case with this month’s best buy, BMW’s hugely capable 320d GT.

    There are loads of used examples around, with the odd leggy example as low as £17,000, but mint examples start at £19,000. Most have covered a very low mileage, so you’re effectively buying a new car, with an extendable Approved Used warranty. They’re well spec’d, there’s acres of rear legroom, performance is good, with 62mph in 8.0 seconds, and average combined economy is a handy 57.6mpg.
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    F20 118d Sport

    I mentioned last month that someone had driven into the 1 Series whilst it had been parked up in London over the Easter weekend and the damage amounted to some nasty-looking scratches and a small crease. The excess on our company car insurance policy is a fairly typical £250 so I sent some pictures of the damage over to Vehicle Solutions in Hastings, which sprayed my E39 once before and is now in charge of its makeover, and asked for an estimate for the repairs.

    The quote that pinged back was for a not unreasonable £175 so I dropped the 118d in with the team one morning and asked if they could turn it around in time for me to collect the next day as I had a shoot in Northampton and needed the 1 Series ready and raring to go. It was a bit of an ask as the bumper needed to be repaired and painted and Vehicle Solutions is perpetually busy, but the guys managed it, which made the price seem even more reasonable.

    Having taken care of this, my nearside dipped beam bulb decided to fail. Not long after I originally got the car, I fitted a pair of uprated Osram bulbs, which made a huge difference over the woeful standard-fit headlight bulbs, the only caveat being that the greater light output did mean a potentially shorter lifespan. The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long, after all, though I don’t think Osram uses that particular quote on any of its products.

    I think pretty much three years and over 20,000 miles is a decent lifespan for a bulb, but memories of how much of an absolute pain in the backside it was to actually replace the bulbs means that I can’t be doing with it and will be leaving it up to BMW to take care of it for me when I book the car in for the brake fluid change that, last month, I found out the car wants. I recall it involved having to turn the front wheels on full lock to expose the inner front arch liner area, where there is a small door that you have to open and then you reach inside and blindly grope around for the bulbs while trying and failing to avoid numerous Sawesque booby traps in the form of seemingly strategically-placed sharp bits of metal.

    It’s really not a pleasant experience and I’m amazed at just how well the offside bulbs works on its own particularly as, with the ever-increasing daylight hours, my headlight bulb use is scant at best at present.

    When I book the car in I’ll also ask the dealer to swap the 118d back on to its original wheels for me, as I’ve been running on very similarly-styled winter wheels for the past year thanks to my all-season Michelin CrossClimate tyres. These have performed so well that I’ll be looking at getting another all-season tyre for the 120d which, as I write, is a mere month away from arriving.

    TECHNICAL DATA #BMW-F20 / #BMW-118d-Sport / #BMW-118d-Sport-F20 / #BMW-118d-F20 / #BMW /
    YEAR: #2013
    MILEAGE THIS MONTH: 867
    TOTAL MILEAGE: 21,907
    MPG THIS MONTH: 48.2
    COST THIS MONTH: £175 (rear bumper repair)
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    / #BMW-118d-Sport
    CAR #BMW-F20 118d Sport / #BMW-118d-Sport / #BMW-118d-Sport-F20 / #BMW-118d / #BMW-118d-F20
    YEAR: #2013 / #BMW
    MILEAGE THIS MONTH: 674
    TOTAL MILEAGE: 21,040
    MPG THIS MONTH: 49.5
    COST THIS MONTH: Nil

    In my last instalment I was getting excited about my #BMW-1-Series / #BMW-1-Series-F20 replacement and, having considered all the options, I decided on a 2 Series. Great. Except that when I actually started looking at placing an order, all the 2 Series models I’d seen on various lease sites had all disappeared – even the 218ds.

    Unfortunately I couldn’t wait around for others to show up as this would have left me without a company car and, as the owner of two V8s, one of which recently returned 17.7mpg from its last tank (which I guess is what 5.7-litres and a four-speed auto will do), that wasn’t really an option. So instead I put in an order for… another 1 Series! To be honest it’s no hardship as I’ve enjoyed my time with the 118d and in the past three years standard equipment has developed enough that the new 1 Series will probably feel quite different and thus retain my interest.

    Previously the best I could get on our monthly allowance was a 118d Sport. Now it was enough for a 120d M Sport. If I had only had my sensible hat on I would have gone for the smaller-badged car for the sake of company car tax and fuel economy, but the 120d will feel significantly peppier than my current 118d, thanks to an additional 45hp, and actually it would appear that the two are evenly matched in terms of on-paper economy figures (62.8mpg for the 120d). It’s possible that, with a more powerful engine, I’ll be working the car less hard and as a result fuel economy might actually be a little better, or at least hopefully no worse. Being able to afford an M Sport meant that I obviously had to go for one, as I love the various additions inside and out that will again help to make it feel significantly different to the car it’s replacing. Finally I spec’d the Driver Comfort Package, which includes Servotronic steering (nice, if not essential), cruise control (which I had sorely missed) and PDC (which is always useful).


    I could not afford a five-door this time around, which isn’t really a big deal as I only use the rear doors when carrying large objects around and the three-door arguably looks better, and nor could I afford metallic paint. When ordering the 118d I actually wanted a solid red that had been available three years ago but was told that the lease company that was arranging the car required that I chose a metallic colour as it raised resale value and reduced the monthly payments. This time around I had been gearing up for Melbourne red on a 2 Series, before switching to Estoril on a 1 Series and then finding out that I could only have solid paint, and the only solid colour available is Alpine white – so that’s what I’ve got to have. I’ve never owned a white car before, so I’m gearing up for a whole lot of cleaning.

    In preparation for that I decided to give the 118d a wash as it was looking filthy. When it’s clean Valencia really is a gorgeous colour. It came up really well with a little effort and I feel a bit guilty for not washing it as often as I should have done over the past three years.


    Recently the display turned yellow informing me that the car wants something. A quick poke through the menus revealed that it wanted its brake fluid changed. Ideally I want to try and put that off if I can as I need to get the MoT done before it goes back as well as getting my cameras and HUD removed; the former I will definitely be having transplanted into the 120d but I’m undecided on the latter. Finally, a foray into London over the Easter weekend resulted in an unseen assailant giving the poor 1 Series a nudge on its rear bumper. It’s incredibly annoying that something like this has happened so close to my giving the car back as there have been no other incidents over the past three years, but I’ve had a quote and the repair won’t be too expensive, so at least that’s something I guess.
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    CAR #Land-Rover-Series-IIA / #Land-Rover / #Land-Rover-Series-II / #2016

    Run by Martin Port
    Owned since May #2013
    Total mileage 43,970
    Miles since January report 1612
    Latest costs £78

    THE BEAR(ING) NECESSITIES

    It was a cold, wet and dark Monday morning when, barely two minutes into my commute, I heard an odd noise from the front of the IIA – followed by a sudden knocking that not only could be heard above the engine, but felt through the pedals. Not an ideal start to the week.

    As the Land-Rover climbed a gradient, I stuck my head out of the window to try to pinpoint the source. But as I reached the peak and then began the descent, I quickly withdrew my bonce, grasping the wheel tightly. It had become apparent that the IIA’s direction of travel wasn’t quite corresponding to my aim!

    I pulled over and checked for visible problems, but failed to see anything. There was nothing else for it – nurse the Landie home and grab the keys to the Beetle instead. The rest of the day at work was torture, of course, with the next eight hours spent mulling over possible causes split chassis?

    Knackered bush in the swivel joint? Broken UJ.

    That evening grabbed a torch I and was at least able to confirm that the chassis was okay okay. A couple of days later, I managed to have a proper poke around during daylight, starting with the obvious: jacking up the front and wobbling the wheels. It became immediately apparent that there was something fundamentally wrong with the offside bearing, but I also realised that, no matter what I did, I couldn’t get the front propshaft to turn. I called Phil Bashall at Dunsfold Land Rover, but he couldn’t get his head round the anomaly either and suggested that it could be a broken differential.




    Local legends Phil and Oli Cottrell even popped by for half an hour to assist with my diagnosis. Phil reckoned that it was the diff, too, but with one of us in the IIA, one underneath, and one at the wheel, we examined all possible combinations of gearing and drive. In the end, it was only when I removed the MAP free-wheeling hub from that side – and observed the half-shaft turning when the prop was rotated that those present had a lightbulb moment.

    Although affecting the steering, it transpired that the freewheel hub had failed – confirming that at least the front diff was okay. That left the bearing at fault so, armed with a replacement inner and outer, I set about the swap. An hour and a half later, the IIA was back on the deck and ready for a test drive. The bearing needed nipping up a little further but, crucially, the knocks, groans and directional ‘variables’ had been eliminated – quite possibly the best-case scenario.

    In the process I had, of course, removed both MAP free-wheeling hubs and reinstalled the standard drive flanges. I was then left to marvel at the spectacular wear on the old outer hub bearing. With the Landie back on the road, it was a good time to finally fit the bargain Viking mascot that I’d bought at the NEC back in November. Strictly speaking, it has nothing to do with the IIA, but a good many owners have added them as a nod to the Rover origins of the company – or perhaps because they have a P4-derived engine under the bonnet. Mine doesn’t, but personally I think it just looks the part!


    A definite end-of-year highlight was being present as the hammer came down at the auction of the two-millionth Defender. The winning bid was a record £400k, with all proceeds going to the Born Free Foundation and the Red Cross. As a bonus, while I was there I finally managed to meet Tim Slessor – a member of the Oxford and Cambridge Far Eastern Expedition of 1955 and author of First Overland, an inspirational book for any Land-Rover owner. Commuting to London in the IIA doesn’t come close to what Slessor undertook, but oddly he seemed impressed by my stupidity and, as a result, my copy (which ‘I just happened to have with me’), now has a fitting dedication on the title page. Thank you, Sir!

    THANKS TO Dunsfold Land Rover: 01483 200567; www.dunsfold.com Phil and Oli Cottrell: 0118 971

    2091; www.jaguarreplicas.com Kim Palmer

    Viking mascot keeps watch over the road. Port with his hero, who signed book (inset).

    Oli Cottrell passes judgement on the wear Replacement ready to be fitted into hub The new oil seal is carefully tapped home.

    The Land-Rover takes to the track at Bicester Heritage – not its natural habitat, but good fun! Inset: wheel bearing was on the verge of collapse.
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    APPRECIATING DEPRECIATION LEXUS IS F

    / #Lexus-IS-F / #Lexus-IS / #Lexus / #Lexus-XE20 / #Lexus-IS-XE20 / #Lexus-IS-F-XE20 / #2005 - #2013 /

    NEW £62,000
    NOW £17,000

    It’s one of those typical pub discussions we have as car guys – if you had X-amount of pounds, what car would you buy?

    This question popped up the other day and the price bracket that was up for debate was the under 20k mark. Now this throws a whole bunch of cars in to the mix, but obviously we were focusing on the performance stuff. All the usual BMW M5 E60 and Audi RS4 hats were thrown into the ring, along with Porsches 996 and Cayman S. But it was a real curve ball of an option that got us really talking – the Lexus IS F. The first thing we did was check they are in the aforementioned price bracket before all giving each other that approving nod!

    They are one of those cars not a lot of people know about, the Mazda 6 MPS of the Evo V Scooby world if you like. Put simply, they are an absolute gem and if you’ve ever driven one you would vouch for their credentials till the cows come home (Where have the cows been? I’ve always wondered that – Jules).

    So what do you get for your money? You get a car capable of some serious supercar slaying, that’s what! The stock 5.0-litre engine pumps out over 400bhp, which will propel you to 170mph. It comes equipped with more goodies than Steve Job’s shed and has an 8-speed paddle shift semi-auto ‘box that’s an absolute delight to use.

    Modding wise they aren’t the best catered for cars on the market and they can be a swine to get aftermarket parts for, but the IS F is so good out the box you almost don’t need to mod it… almost!
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